The language implementation goals are rather simply explained: transform SAC high-level program specifications into efficiently executable machine code and achieve the utmost runtime performance possible. Among others, this may be done by
However, C is used as an intermediate language in order to achieve portability among different target architectures and to reuse existing compiler technology for the generation of machine specific code.
The following graphic illustrates the major compilation phases of sac2c. Most of the intermediate phases operate on a code representation that is based on static single assignment form (SSA). To achieve this two additional phases called Fun2LaC and LaC2Fun transform intermediate SAC code into this convenient format and vice versa. For example, front-end representations of loops and if-clauses are transformed to what they actually represent: tail-end recursive functions and functional conditionals.